Two exhibitions in Swansea this weekend: Sarah Poland who has a residency in GS Gallery, and Frances Richards at the Glynn Vivian.
Sarah Poland’s mark making using inks made from oak galls has a zen-like quality. I love how she combines this with photographic images she calls ‘moon-drawings’, made by using a long exposure on full-moon nights in the woods.
Oak Gall Ink – nick-named Ink of poets and Kings – is a very expensive, beautiful, indelible black ink. But for me, the process from start to finish, from gathering the oak galls in an ancient woodland in west Wales, to making the ink, to using it in my work is an important process in the work. At the very least because I can control and play with the viscosity and texture of the material. The work is about exploring drawing through making and using oak gall ink as much as it is about the place and the experience of where they were found. I am working it on paper, canvas and gesso panel.
Moon drawings and oak gall ink.
Frances Richards: An Artist Apart at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery – 15 June – 1 September 2019, concentrates on this visionary artist’s embroidery collages, drawings and monotypes, executed during the war and previously unseen until now, as well as the figurative and flower paintings of her later years.
Richards studied at the Royal College of Art from 1924 to 1927, specialising in tempera and fresco painting. She admired the early Italian renaissance painters Giotto, Piero della Francesca and Fra Angelico; the British artists Samuel Palmer, William Blake and David Jones; and the poetry of the Psalms, the Song of Solomon, George Herbert and Arthur Rimbaud. On display at the GV gallery is the collection of her Les Illuminations – illustrations to prose poems by Arthur Rimbaud lithographs.
An Artist Apart highlights the perspective of a hugely gifted female artist and how she responded to the dark mood of wartime Britain.